Characterization of inter-genogroup reassortant rotavirus strains detected in hospitalized children in Italy

Maria Cristina Medici, Laura Anna Abelli, Vito Martella, Monica Martinelli, Eleonora Lorusso, Canio Buonavoglia, Giuseppe Dettori, Carlo Chezzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Analysis of archival stool collections provides an invaluable source of virus strains and genetic material that may be exploited for molecular, epidemiological, and biological studies. The aim of this study was the molecular characterization of unusual human rotavirus (HRV) strains displaying atypical combinations of electrophero-type (e-type) and VP4 and/or VP7 genotypes. Analysis of a panel of archival stools collected in northern Italy revealed continual circulation of P[8]G1 HRVs during 1987-1990 and the onset of P[6] + P[8]G1 strains after 1989. Interestingly, nine G1 strains, associated with either P[8], P[4] + P[8], P[6] + P[8], or untypeable VP4 genes, and two P[4]G1 + G2 strains, displayed short RNA e-type. The genetic constellation of the unusual strains was investigated by analysis of the VP4, VP6, VP7, and NSP4 genes. All the G1 strains with short e-type were subgroup (SG)II or SGI + SGII, and possessed a NSP4 of genogroup B or A + B. Conversely, the P[4]G1 + G2 strains were SGI and possessed a genogroup A NSP4. Sequence analysis of the VP7 and VP4 genes revealed that the unusual P[8]G1 andP[4]G1 + G2 viruses emerged by reassortment of strains circulating locally, rather than by introduction of new strains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1406-1412
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007


  • Human rotavirus (HRV)
  • NSP4
  • Reassortment
  • VP4 and VP7 genotypes
  • VP6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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